Purpose - Customer retention has been a significant topic since the mid-1990s, but little research has been conducted into management processes that are associated with excellent customer retention performance. This research investigates the associations between customer retention outcomes and a number of management processes including customer retention planning, budgeting and accountability and the presence of a documented complaints-handling process. Design/methodology/approach - This is carried out using a quantitative survey of 170 companies in Australia. Participants represented all major standard industrial classification (SIC) codes. Findings - It was found that excellence at customer retention is positively and significantly associated with the presence of documented complaints-handling processes. None of the other variables is significantly associated with the dependent variable. Research limitations/implications - This research has limited generalisability to other regions and the self-report nature of the data is not independently corroborated. Practical implications - The research emphasises the importance of developing and implementing documented complaints-handling processes. Future research should examine whether standardised processes such as those embodied in ISO 10002 are more effective than ad hoc processes. Originality/value - The major contribution of this paper is the clear link that it establishes between customer retention performance and the presence of a documented complaints-handling process.
- Customer retention